Modern Ranch

Sunnyvale, California

Our busy Silicon Valley clients asked us to convert their tight-quartered 1960’s ranch house to a gracious family home that would meet their long term needs. Ease of living was paramount, both in functionality and in ordered design.  

The project was completed on a moderate budget.While retaining most of the structure of the existing house to avoid costly structural changes, we opened walls to improve the sight lines and flow of the house and bring in more light. We made small additions at the front and back bedrooms to gain space for the family and relatives. An existing underused patio area was improved with a simple outdoor kitchen and overhang to extend the living space to the outside. Costs were kept down with choices of modest materials.  

Everything was made to be functional. Ample storage has been built into the right places. The details of the kitchen were carefully worked out to accommodate all the wishes of the various cooks in the family. The house is set up to be easy to keep clean. Acoustic walls separate living from bedroom spaces so adults can enjoy time together while children sleep. The outdoor kitchen has easy access to the indoor kitchen and the garage, and its setup promotes socializing while cooking outdoors.   

A large part of the narrow back yard was previously unusable space due to a steep slope up to a neighbor’s higher fence. With a new retaining wall and some regrading we took back more of the yard for the patio and play space on a new lawn.  

The remodeled house is a mix of contemporary and traditional elements. Cool colors have a calming effect. Traditional items such as prairie style windows, trellis, mosaic tiles, and Shaker style cabinets, break down the scale in an otherwise streamlined, contemporary design. A new gabled roof with a broad arch at the front of the house marks the entry and resolves a challenging form where the central entry is set back from walls on both sides.  

Photography: Kurt Manley 

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